This is the first time the Kiwi fruit has been identified outside the island nation.
It is native to a remote island in the South Pacific called Kalimantan, which is located between Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
Kiwis were brought to New Guinea by Europeans in the 18th century, but have been in New Zealand for thousands of years, thanks to the volcanic island chain and the influence of its large kiwifruit growing industry.
The fruit is a common staple in many parts of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Department of Primary Industries said it has imported more than $2 billion worth of the fruit over the past two decades.
“The kiwibarri is a beautiful fruit,” said Greg O’Brien, chief executive of the New Zealander Fruit Council.
“It’s the most beautiful kiwip fruit we have, and it’s so hard to find.”
O’Brien says the kiwigarri’s native New Zealand is now a global phenomenon, with a thriving industry catering to the growing demand.
“Kiwi has a tremendous cultural significance in New Guinea,” he said.
“The kihis are very important to the New Guinea people.”
A team of researchers from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was on the island to conduct the survey.
They found the fruit was growing at an alarming rate, with many fruit trees failing to produce enough fruit for the season.
The team also found that a major crop was losing its viability, as the soil was becoming unsuitable.
The researchers are now looking into how the fruit can be managed, as they are concerned it will become an invasive species.
The Department of Forestry and Forestry said kiwilos are a “key crop for the country’s tourism industry.”
“The Kiwi is a very valuable fruit that can be grown in New Guineas as well as in Australia and the United States,” said Kate O’Connor, an environmental scientist with the department.
“We are working with the New Guinea Government to understand the implications of this invasive species on the local communities and how best to manage it in the future.”